IF you own more than one cat, you’re no stranger to the occasional, or sometimes daily, cat fight. One minute your cats are peacefully sleeping or cuddling and the next their growling, hissing, and fighting. They’re kind of like toddlers.
Just like kids, or adults, will pick fights or lash out at someone close to them because they’re discontent or annoyed, so will your cat. While you can put your kids in a corner for a time-out after a fight, you can’t do that with cats.
Cats are territorial creatures and can be mischievous. A child or toddler doesn’t like it when another child, even one of their siblings, enters their “space” at certain times. Cats are the same way.
Female cats are often more territorial than a male cat. This means your female cat will pick fights more often. Strangely, this is not true for the cat’s household counter mate, the dog. Cats are more territorial than dogs. A dog is more attune to visitors than a cat.
If you have multiple cats in a household, one will emerge as the alpha. Typically, the alpha is a male cat, unless the male cat was introduced into a household of all females. However, if you move that household to a new residence, the male will assume the alpha position.
If there are two male cats, occasionally, they will fight for the alpha rank. This will occur even if the cats have been neutered.
One cat might pick a fight with another cat for no apparent reason. This may happen when they have seen a dog, or another cat, while they were looking out a window. Cat’s don’t like seeing dogs or strange cats in their yard. They see them as a threat.
If a door or window is open, you may see your cat howling and hissing at another cat through the screen. The other cat may not try to confront your cat which will lead to frustration. Your cat may take this frustration out by attacking another family cat.
What Should You Do?
Cats have a natural instinct that makes them want to fight. That’s why you should let your cats work it out. Try not to interfere, unless it’s necessary. Your cat may be trying to protect their territory or just may be in a bad mood.
If you attempt to punish your cat for fighting, it will not work. In fact, your cat may retaliate by damaging your possessions or urinating outside of the litterbox. Cats are intelligent animals.
When Should You Interfere?
It’s easy to tell when your cats are playing, having a small spat, or all-out fighting. In an all-out fight, both cats will be growling and hissing, not just the aggressor. In this type of fight, fur can fly, and blood may flow. One of the cats will usually back away at some point. If they don’t, you should probably intervene.
With this type of fight, you need to be careful if you decide to interfere. You can easily get scratched or bit. The best way to stop the fight is to approach the fighting cats and make a loud noise, like clapping your hands.
If the fight has become very aggressive, you can spray the cats with water or spray the water towards them. This will stop the fight. Afterward, one of the cats will make crying sounds. You should make sure the crying cat is not injured, then let the cat work out their problem alone. Don’t try to pamper your cat after a fight.